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What if?

Look, I’ve somehow managed to become a worry machine. I often worry myself to the point that I completely underestimate how much control I have. And when I’m done, I worry about the things that I might end up worrying about. Sound familiar?
The thing is, my anxiety has managed to tell me that the things I’m worrying about are sound. And to be honest, they’re not completely irrational. All my “what if’s” aren’t completely impossible scenarios. They do have a chance of happening, even if it’s 0.1%. But my anxiety is lying.
My anxiety is telling me that by worrying about possible worst-case scenarios, I’ll somehow be able to prevent those worst-case scenarios from happening.
My anxiety is lying.
My anxiety is telling me that I have more agency and control over what was and what will be. My anxiety is telling me that the things I do have control over will never be enough of an influence. My anxiety is telling me that my worries are the only thing keeping me alive. Sounds appealing. But still, a lie. All lies. My anxiety can lie.
You see, my machine needs a little fine-tuning. I see all the right evidence, but somehow often end up with a totally far-fetched conclusion. Like an artificial intelligence algorithm that more often than not misidentifies an input, I need some more training. I need more data.
I don’t know when and how my machine got messed up. Or maybe I do. And maybe it’s outdated. Error 101. But what I do know is that I need data that provides me with more sound evidence that not everything will end up in worst-case scenarios. And even if it does, that I’m going to be okay.
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Reema AlYousef

sharing stories and exploring human emotion

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